News

NOTES & QUOTES FROM WEEK 5 EDITION OF FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA ON NBC

“This is one of those moments that bonds everybody in the league…So many people feel so fondly for Dak.” – Mike Tirico on Dak Prescott’s injury

“I have to give credit to his faith and all his hard work and mental toughness.” – Rodney Harrison on Alex Smith’s return

“You cannot single (block) Aaron Donald…every time they did, he brought the house and wreaked havoc.” – Tony Dungy

“I don’t think they want to be the worst defense in football, but I think they are perfectly willing to get into a shootout because they know the best player on their team is number three.” – Chris Simms on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 11, 2020 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season began tonight from CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Vikings-Seahawks on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn., and was joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Due to COVID-19 precautions, two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison and NFL Insider Mike Florio joined Football Night remotely from studios in their respective homes. Liam McHugh co-hosted the show on-site from CenturyLink Field and was joined by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. In addition, McHugh interviewed Seahawks QB Russell Wilson pre-game.

Al Michaels (play-by-play), Collinsworth (analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s Vikings-Seahawks game.

***

Following are highlights from tonight’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC:

ON COVID-19 IMPACT ON NFL

Tirico on the numerous scheduling changes: “As they say in the trades, check your local listings to see who is playing whom and where.”

Florio on COVID-related NFL schedule changes: “That is definitely in play, an 18th week for these makeup games, but the NFL is reluctant to go that route yet. They want to exhaust all other options beforehand for two reasons. First, they don’t want teams to get complacent and think there’s a buffer that may not last very long because the reality, number two, is this: if just one team needs to reschedule a second game, you need a 19th week. So, they are waiting as long as they possibly can before possibly making that move.”

Harrison: “Instead of the NFL trying to cram all of these games at once, take a two-week break to try to get things under control. Try and get a plan moving forward to ensure player safety. That’s all the players want, to make sure they are safe and healthy.”

Dungy on what he’d tell his team if he were coaching: “Every game is important. Don’t worry about down the road. Win this week, get yourself ready to go. We might not play every game this year.”

Simms: “I’m going to say the same thing I said last week, I don’t think we can play the season in its totality unless we go to 32 individual team bubbles. Either that or we’re going to go with the incentive of, if your team gets COVID, then you get a loss and we move on. I know that’s harsh, but we’re getting into a really dicey area here right now with the whole season.”

Tirico: “Bubbles are a lot to talk about. 32 teams doing it for some 80-plus days. We’ve seen basketball getting to the end of theirs, possibly tonight. Hockey. That’s a long time to keep teams bubbled in. The amount of people in a bubble for the NFL is significantly larger than hockey and basketball. Maybe it’s not feasible.”

Florio on NFL and NFLPA on bubble scenario: “Right now it’s a stare down because the Union looks at it and says, ‘If you want us to put all of our players in a bubble for the rest of the season, we’re entitled to something in return.’…As one general manager told me today, it’s going to take games being lost, game checks being gone forever before the players would get to that point where they would say, ‘Maybe it is time to go into home-market bubbles.’”

ON SEAHAWKS

Collinsworth on ‘letting Russ cook’: “Now you’re playing the Seattle Seahawks and you don’t know what the heck to do out there. You don’t know whether to come up and play the run, the bootleg, the scramble.”

Collinsworth on the defense: “The biggest flaw in Seattle right now is the fact they don’t have a pure pass rusher. Defensively, they are giving up a lot of yards, lot of points and they’re going to have to come up with an answer. Jamal Adams, a safety who isn’t playing in (tonight’s) game, is probably their best pass rusher.”

Simms: “I don’t think they want to be the worst defense in football, but I think they are perfectly willing to get into a shootout because they know the best player on their team is number three and they don’t want him over there dying a slow death next to the Gatorade bottle.”

ON VIKINGS

Collinsworth on defensive personnel movement: “I’ve never really seen a team -- when I put on the tape -- that I didn’t recognize as many people (from the year before) as I did with this Vikings team.”

Harrison on S Harrison Smith and S Anthony Harris: “If I’m Mike Zimmer, I’m telling them to stay back deep, be deeper than the deepest. If you do that, don’t let anyone get behind you, you’re going to have an opportunity to win this football game.”

ON COWBOYS

Tirico on QB Dak Prescott’s injury: “This is one of those moments that bonds everybody in the league, especially somebody who is so loved by his team, his teammates, his city and the league as well. So many people feel so fondly for Dak.”

Simms on QB Andy Dalton: “He’s not chopped liver, we know that. We saw him go to the playoffs five years in a row. Will he be able to make as many plays as Dak Prescott? No, but…They may have to get back to the old-school, let’s run the ball with Zeke, control the clock a bit more and then Andy will take his shots down the field.”

Tirico: “The Cowboys get a win that doesn’t feel all that great…We all send our very best to Dak Prescott.”

ON RAIDERS

Tirico on QB Derek Carr: “He went into Kansas City and outplayed Patrick Mahomes.”

Dungy: “This was the story of the game. A lot of blitzes from Kansas City, a lot of deep balls from Derek Carr…They came after Derek Carr, he answered over and over again with those deep shots against the all-out blitz.”

Harrison: “If you want to compete against Kansas City, you have to throw the ball down the field.”

ON CHIEFS

Dungy: “Patrick Mahomes was not himself in the second half, no question about it, but you have to credit the Raiders defense.”

ON STEELERS

Simms on WR Chase Claypool: “He’s a freak of nature in a lot of ways. Physically, he reminds me of DK Metcalf.”

ON EAGLES

Harrison on Doug Pederson’s decision to try a long field goal late in the game: “Fourth down-and-five and you’d rather kick a 57-yard field goal than put it into your quarterback’s hands, a $100 million quarterback? … No one has ever made a 57-yard field goal in Heinz Field...You’ve got to give Carson Wentz that opportunity. You paid him over $100 million. To me, I just don’t think he trusts Carson Wentz.”

ON 49ERS

Simms on QB Jimmy Garoppolo: “He was reluctant to push off that bad right ankle and really drive through the ball. It led to a lot of errant passes.”

ON RAMS

Dungy on DL Aaron Donald: “You cannot single (block) Aaron Donald…Every time they did, he brought the house and wreaked havoc.”

Simms: “He’s the best defensive player in football. You might want to double team him.”

ON WASHINGTON

Harrison on QB Alex Smith: “It was just so good to see him back on the football field after such a devastating knee injury. I have to give credit to his faith and all his hard work and mental toughness.”

Tirico on Smith: “Comeback Player of the Year voting – done.”

ON FALCONS

Florio: “There was a very real sense that this was an important game for Dan Quinn. They lost, and now there is a buzz that it could be the end of the line for Quinn in Atlanta.”

ON JETS

Tirico: “Here’s the Jets season. It’s third-and-short and we’re going to hand it to a tight end.”

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA

Media contacts

Chris McCloskey

203-356-2781

Christopher.McCloskey@nbcuni.com